Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Break!

During my first semester of grad school I survived, experienced, and am a better person as a result of the following:

27 page papers about sex scandal
15 annotated bibliographies
10 blood transfusions
9 great grad school cohort friends
8 hours per day spent in the Stats lab during the last month(average)
7 papers
6 classes left in grad school
5 GOLDEN RINGS!!!!!
4 combined millimeters in tumor shrinkage during the semester. (turns out grad school is the greatest chemo treatment of all!)
3 hour stats final
2 weeks of missed school due to health complications
1 semester of Grad School DONE!!!!

and a partridge in a pear tree.

This past semester has been my favorite that I have ever had. I have made some great friends, learned a lot about myself, and had the greatest research partner you could ever have. Special thanks to Kelsey for sharing in my love of sex scandal Apologia. (she was my research partner)

But, I am now done with school until next Year!!!!!!!

Just want to keep you all update.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Update

Yesterday, I had my routine scans that I have every three months.

I was nervous to see how well the experimental rapamycin drug is working.

I had the CT scan and then went to go see my doctor and EVERYTHING had shrunk and was smaller than they had been previous.

It was great news to hear and so I will continue taking the drugs I am and thinks are going great!

Now on to finishing the school semester and then I can relax and enjoy things during Christmas break.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sex scandals and Cancer Fighting

I have now been taking Rapamycin for over a week now and so it was once again time to go to the doctors and get my arm poked. Since this is not a ordinary chemo or drug that is usually used to treat cancer the nurse drawing my blood did not know the protocol for figuring out my Rapamycin levels.

They check these levels to make sure that my body is not being totally put out of whack by this new drug I am taking.

So after about 2 hours sitting and waiting my blood was drawn and sent off to the lab. I have yet to hear back from them so I assume that all the levels are good. (I figure they would call me if they were otherwise.)

Besides fighting cancer I am still working on my research paper on comparing the apology celebrities and politician after they admit to a sex scandal. This paper along may be the reason why BYU was only ranked #9. If it was not for my research partner and I googling and searching for prominent sex scandals I feel we would have at least been in the top 5. Here is the article.

That is all I have for today. Oh wait I was going to unveil my new theme song. I could not pick just one. Here are two song the ALWAYS put me in a good mode when they come on my ipod.

First:

Song: It's Time by: Imagine Dragons


Second:

Song: This is the New Year by: Ian Axel


Enjoy listening. I listen to each song like 5 times just while writing this post.

Also if you have not seen the movie 50/50 you need to because it is great.





Thursday, November 3, 2011

Still Fighting It

I had my doctors appointment after taking my Temodar (Chemo) for a week. My blood counts were great. However, with this chemo the blood counts often have a delay before they dip...so we shall see what happens.

Also, I am now taking a drug called Rapamycin or Sirolimus to fight the cancerous party going on in my insides.

This drug is not "chemo" it is usually taken by patients who have received a organ transplant.

You can click here. If you would like to read the wikipedia page about the awesome drug.

So we shall see how it works in terms of fighting It.

As for the rest of life, school is going well and I only have three papers and one test before I can celebrate the day called christmas.

This does not sound like a lot, but one of the papers is 20-25 pages and the test is on Statistics....so it should be a fun few weeks.

Until the next update.....Keep fighting it.....Whatever it may be!

In my next post I will unveil my new theme song!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another round of chemo....Done

I survived the 5 days of chemo. I took the oral chemo called temodar.

It was no where as bad as the chemo that wiped me out for 2+ weeks.

This chemo was much more pleasant. (if chemo can even be pleasant.)

I go in for a doctor appointment on Monday to have my counts done and plan for what the next move is.

At this stage in my treatment there is no roadmap or precedent for what to do for treatment. We are just playing it by ear and taking it one treatment at a time.

Until next time enjoy Halloween. I am not sure what I am going to dress up as yet. Suggestions are welcome. (if you can incorporate my bald head all the better!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Last Weekend of feeling good

So this weekend is my last hurray, before I start chemo again on Monday. I hope to go out with a bang. Maybe some dancing, good food, friends, pillow talk, and some good movies.

Well if you read this during this weekend...hit me up, because I want to party with you.

Also, Liz Redd I will have a new theme song for starting chemo again. I will reveal it once I start on Monday!

I am also taking suggestions if anyone has a song they feel appropriate.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Chemo starts Oct 24

I had my first doctor appointment since returning to Utah and my blood counts were all terrific. My platelets were in the 100s. (This is awesome because about a month ago they were at zero.)

So I will give me body a week longer to repair and mend itself before I start beating it up with chemo again.

I am surviving school and hope to be caught up by the end of the month so that I am allowed to go trick-or-treating.

Thanks everyone for your kind words, prayers, and super thoughts during the last month or so. t was a rough road but I think I am back on cruise control of kicking cancer in the BUTT.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting back in the habit

I am back in Utah trying to figure out how to get back into the groove of being a graduate student after missing two weeks of classroom instruction. Moreover, during those two weeks my health was so unpleasant that I was not able to do ANY school work.

I will now spend many many hours in the Library reading, writing, reading, writing, reading, wasting time on Internet, and then more reading and writing.

After 10 blood, platelet transfusions I am slowly starting to feel somewhat normal. I would say I am about 75% back to "normal." Now for me normal was never feeling awesome. The reality is that I am a cancer patient, but at this point I would take how I felt about 3 weeks ago and call it good. I have accepted that I will never feel 100% normal. I will never be able to run more than a few yards before I am completely out of energy, but I would love to feel 100% "normal" for me.

With time it will all come back and my white blood cell, platelet, and hemoglobin counts are climbing and improving a little every time I go in. Hopefully in the next week or so I will be back to my normal energy level.

Luckily studying in the library does not require much physical energy. However, I would not mind if they got cushions for their hardwood chair, but I will make due.

Well, there is a little update on the life of Dave Chalk. Feel free to email me, comment, text, facebook, or any other form with questions you may have. I enjoy playing words with friends and my name on their is cansirboi, so challenge me and ask me questions that way.

In the last two and a half weeks,

Needle pokes: 30

Pills: 60

Movies: Too many

Weight loss due to inability to eat: 15 pounds

Travels: Provo, Orem, Vista, San Diego, American Fork

Words with friends winning percentage: only about 55% (I need to improve in this department)

Well Happy Monday to you all. Updates to follow as I have more Doctors Appointments

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dave Chalk Update

Life for me has been super crazy since last Thursday. I went in for a routine blood check and little did I know, but in the last 6 days I would have had 10 blood/platelet transfusions.

When I went in on Thursday my platelet count was at 0, yes zero. Now when you have no platelets your body has no way to prevent bleeding and make me more prone to random bleeding.

To have a healthy platelet count you should be above 50. I had a long way to go before my (blood) counts would get back to the healthy count. Yesterday was the only day that my platelet count was above 20 (Which is high enough to not need a transfusion). Today they were at 17 so once again I received another transfusion.

To add to the low platelet count, I also have had a VERY VERY low white blood cell count which is why my doctors put me under house arrest, because even a “Bubble Boy” has a better immune system than I do at the moment.

I go in tomorrow and I hope that I will be above 20 so that my body does not need to get poked, because at this point a needle has poked me at least 36 times since Thursday. This combined with low platelets and white blood cells I think a hardcore heroin addict’s elbows look better than my do at this point. (This is true I do not say this just for comedic relief, but that it is funny and true).

Well that is all for now. Just want every to be caught up with my life so we can all be on the same page.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Pioneer Day!

No better way to celebrate Pioneer Day in Utah than posting my Heart Juices video.

Disclaimer: I am super D duper high on pain pills and had woken up from the surgery the previous hour when this video was taken. So, I can not be held accountable or judges for my words or actions.

Also, it is slightly graphic. So, finish your bowl of marshmallow mateys before you watch it.


here is the link:


You can also search it on Youtube under Dave Chalk's Heart Juices!

Once again Happy Pioneer Day!

Pokes: 18

Pills: 172

Tv show watching: I have started watching Wilfred, Season 2 of Rookie Blue, and two British shows. The first being Whites and watched the first episode of Misfits today. Besides Rookie Blue, I am undecided on my thoughts on the previously mentioned shows. If you have seen them let me know how you feel about them.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lunch at Olive Garden with MAW peeps

Today I was able to go to lunch at Olive Garden with some of the wonderful people of Make-A-Wish Utah. It was Sierra's, a fellow interns, last day so we went out to lunch to see her off.

It was good to se them all again after being gone for so long and although the food was delicious the company was far superior.

I got the Olive Garden Classic of soup, salad, breadsticks. It had been a since I had been to Olive Garden and was unaware that they had a new Gnoochi soup. It was very delicious! I am a big fan of gnoochi so this was a very good discovery.

Here is my smiling with my second bowl of soup. (While Joy is trying to hide from being in the picture.)

Thanks again! It was fun having lunch with some of the MAW girls. Once again I was the only boy, but growing u with just sister I felt right in my element.

I made it back to Utah

After all the medical adventures were said and done I made it back to Utah this past Tuesday. I had a fun road trip with my wonderful mother and little sister Emily. I was quick and uneventful.

I then met with my Utah doctor yesterday and got everything on the same page with my treatment in San Diego and Utah. I continue to take all medications from the heart juice incident and they well start to ween me of those in the next couple of weeks. (I am happy for this because the steroids really messes with my sleep schedule and I wake up everyday at 7:00 a.m. regardless of when I go to sleep.)

I had my blood work done while I was at my Utah doctors and my white blood cells were a little low so he is having me stop my oral chemo until I go back in next Wednesday to get my counts checked again.

Other than that I am just back in Provo trying to get back in to the "normal" groove of life.

Since I have been cancer blogging I have come across other cancer fighters/survivors. One of my favorites to read is by a wonderful women named Caroline. I enjoyed a quote from her blog a while back and wanted to share it with all of you.

Wisdom from Caroline:

First of all, skip the survivor business. To me it is a label and has some negative overtones that imply illness and eventual death. You want to be a person who coincidentally has a cancer diagnosis behind them and is now living with cancer (because, no it doesn't go away).

Pokes: 18

Pills: 152

Netflix: Watched the first season of "The League" (not my favorite show ever...for those who have not watched I would give it a pass.)

I am also always taking recommendations for TV shows and movies to watch as I am lazy this summer letting my brain rest and recharge before I start graduate school in the Fall

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Declassified Files: Operation Superhero

I have once again finished a session of radiation. This treatment plan was only 2 and half weeks. Although receiving radiation is much easier and does not leave you with horrible side effects like the IV chemotherapies do.

Each time I went in for treatment as you saw from the previous pictures I would lay on the flat, hard metal bench thing and be surrounded by machines shooting lasers into my body. I was hoping for something to go wrong and get some sort of super power. ( I was hoping to be either Quail Man, Daredevil, or would have even settled for Undercover Boss.)

Anywho, when you finish treatment all the nurses and technicians come out and congratulate you and you ring the bell of completion.

Here is my Miss Universe pose pre-bell ringing


Ringing the Bell really loud for all to hear....


The great Radiation Staff and me. I am holding a paper the certifies my completing my treatment. Don't worry it will be matted and framed and be hung right next to my Bachelor Degree of all to see. (Actually I think it has accidentally already made its way into the rubbish bin.)



Another chapter of treatment is done and closed.

The next step is heading back to Utah to get back into the groove of "normal" life... Whatever that means.

So all my Utah Peeps get ready to PARTAY!!!!!!! (By party I mean please come visit me while I am at work.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Radiation

This Friday I will have my last radiation treatment...and since it will be a accumulative of two and a half weeks of radiation I figured all you readers deserved an update and pictures about the process.

Why use Radiation?

Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumor because of its ability to control cell growth. Ionizing radiation works by damaging the DNA of exposed tissue, furthermore, it is believed that cancerous cells may be more susceptible to death by this process as many have turned off their DNA repair machinery during the process of becoming cancerous.

How is the healthy tissue not effective?

To spare normal tissues (such as skin or organs which radiation must pass through in order to treat the tumor), shaped radiation beams are aimed from several angles of exposure to intersect at the tumor, providing a much larger absorbed dose there than in the surrounding, healthy tissue.

It is also common to combine radiation therapy with surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, Immunotherapy or some mixture of the four.

Since radiation uses many random beams to target the cancerous site it is important to make sure everything is all lined up so that you do not fry the wrong part of your body.

They do an initial 4..yes four hour scan to monitor your breathing so that the radiation laser will move along with your breathing motion to enable be accuracy at the treatment site.

This is what my chest has looked like for the past four weeks...and I am glad to be able to wash it all clean come this Friday after my last treatment.



There are a couple of picture of me laying on the radiation machine. It is all very very precise and takes about 10 minutes to line your body up with the machine before they can start treatment to double check everything is lined up.

You can see the green lights they use to line up the machine with the markings on my body

Me smiling at myself in the reflection of the machine


The table they have you lay on is soooooo comfortable I think they used tempurpedic material!

All together I received multiple treatments to my right and left lung as well as the are surrounding my left diaphragm.

That is the update as for the radiation. I went pretty quick and brief so if any of you have any more questions feel free to write, e-mail, text, tweet, facebook me and I would love to answer them! (For realz I love answer to questions.)

Complete Update:

Needle Pokes for round 3: 17

Pills: 85 (This number will be skyrocketing due to the heart juices. the numbers of pills I take a day increased from 6 to 17)

Netflix: Finished all six seasons of The Office

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heart Juices Update

Went back to the hospital today to have a follow-up Echocardiogram, chest X-Ray, blood work, and doctor visits.

After getting all the test done and getting the results a few hours later. Everything is ALL clear in the respects to the heart juice problem. The cancer unfortunately still likes me.

So with that now in the past I am finishing up Radiation and wil be done this Friday. (without any unforeseen excitement.)

That is the update for today.

I hope to post pictures of the process of radiation, since I have been receiving question about what and how radiation works.

Today:

Echo: 1

Chest X-Ray: 1

Needle Poke:1

Visit with the most awesome Dr. Schiff: 1

Radiation treatment: 1 hours worth

visit with Dr. Murphy (The radiation doctor:) 1


That is all for today more updates to come.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Photo-journal post of the pericardiocentesis

Arriving to Clinic and the wonder Nurse Sandra putting in an IV for me!


Wearing my three google shrirt! Thanks Ash!



Wearing the oxygen mask that was made for a 10-year-old. Also you can tell the many pain meds are setting in and I am going loopy.


The mask made my nose itch like crazy!!!!


Getting my EKG on the heart to verify that liquid is all up in my heart's business



Me looking very drugged out and although it may not look like I am still happy and enjoying my time..my mother just liked taking pictures when I was not noticing. Love her!



Headed to surgery to insert a catheter to remove the 10 liquid ounces of fluid giving me immense chest pains



Close up of catheter that shot to my heart. It was a nice one. We hung out for a few days.



The Catheter was hooked up to a bad that would collect my heart chest juices. Me finally being able to rest after the crazy day and fighting of pain med coma to get everything ready pre-surgery.


At this point I was Good Night Moon!

I had a video taken of the catheter moving in and out as my heart beat, but I am having troubles.

Enjoy the pictures and hopefully the video will guest appear of the next post.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Home Again Home Again Jiggy Jig

They let me out of the hospital today and so I enjoyed a nice hot shower and not being hooked up to monitors, IV poles, and such,

I am also looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight and not being woke every few hours by a nurse needing to give me drugs, take my vitals, or blood.

I am glad to be home, but also very thank for the staff at Children's Hospital in San Diego. They really take care of me.

I will be starting radiation again tomorrow and return back to the hospital for follow up tests on Tuesday.

So enjoy the downtime while I can.

Thanks again to everyone for the well wishes, texts, emails, phone calls, thoughts, and prayers!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I thought it was a feeling of Patriotism

Last Monday was the celebration of the day we stuck it to King George! My family and I had a good morning Parade in Coronado and bonfire and fireworks on the beach once the sunset.

In between the two events we went home and took naps during which I started to develop a slight pain in the chest. I assumed it was a small side-effect from radiation so took some pain meds and took a nap.

The pain continued to get worse and and hurt more and more until I finally informed my Doc on Wednesday night and she scheduled me to come in ASAP in the morning.

So Thursday I went in to the cancer clinic I always go to expecting to get some pain meds and to go home and rest.

However....surprises laid ahead.

As the day progress I had an echocardiogram....then a EKG and more and more doctor showed up (most of them I had never met so I started to put two and two together to realize that I was probably not heading home.)

Then all of a sudden I was headed in for surgery procedure called...Pericardiocentesis.

What wikipedia has to say about it...

pericardiocentesis is a procedure where fluid is aspirated from the pericardium (the sac enveloping the heart)

It is generally done under ultrasound guidance, to minimize complications. There are two locations that pericardiocentesis can be performed without puncturing the lungs.

One location is through the 5th or 6th intercostal space at the left sternal border at the cardiac notch of the left lung.
The other location is through the infrasternal angle.

Indications include cardiac tamponade, as well as the need to analyze the fluid surrounding the heart. Cardiac tamponade is a condition in which an accumulation of fluid within the pericardium creates excessive pressure, which then prevents the heart from filling normally with blood. This can critically decrease the amount of blood that is pumped from the heart, which can be lethal. The removal of the excess fluid reverses this dangerous process. Examples of the need for fluid analysis would be to differentiate whether a fluid collection within the pericardium is due to an infection, spread of cancer, or possibly an autoimmune condition.


So since then I have been in the hospital with the catheter hanging out of my chest...it moves as my heart pumps that is kinda of crazy but awesome all at the same time.

That is the update...

Echo...3

X-Rays...3

CT scans...1

Pills...50

Pokes...15

PARTY ON DUDES!!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Radiation Update

I was supposed to start a 5 day treatment of radiation this past Monday, but due to stupid insurance and a goofy radiation doctors office it was pushed back two days and will now be 10 days instead of 5.

This means that I will have to get 2 more weeks of work. And will be in San Diego until July 14th. This is good news for some and bad news for others. It just depends on where you live.

If you live in the Southern California Area call, text, or email me and I would love to hang out with you.

I will get a better post later about radiation.

Just wanted everyone one to know I am alive and fine.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chemo: Day After

I have survived another round of Chemo! This 2nd round of Irinotecan was not near as bad as the first one. I had Chemo on Thursday morning and for this round my sister Melissa accompanied me. I am not sure she had as much fun as I did dancing in my chair listen to my Chemo Party Mix of songs.

After going home and sleeping for 3 hours I woke up and took a long hot shower. (This process makes me feel extremely better and makes me feel somewhat normal after the chemo side effects.)

After the shower I was sitting at home finishing up season 2 of the office. (I know I am a little behind this is my first go around for watching the office.) I received a text from a buddy on my softball team saying that they needed one more for the game tonight so that we could field a full team. My head said that I should not go play and stay at home relaxing, however my fingertips texted back, Count me in!

I arrived at the ball field approx. 4 hours after finishing chemo. Throughout the game I was extremely tired and I played first base for the most part. (This position requires the least amount of effort.) I ended up going 2-3 with two singles. I then swapped for a pinch runner to run the rest of the bases for me.

Overall, it was a fun game but we ended up losing unable to complete a comeback in the bottom of the last inning.

I was really tired and went home took a shower and collapsed in my bed.


For you amusement I have included a few of my favorite definitions for cancer from the wonderful website Urban Dictionary.

Cancer is a disease lacking a sense of humor.

Cancer is what things like smoking, exposure to radiation, genetically enhanced food, and furbies cause.

Cancer is one disease to rule them all. Anything and everything causes cancer nowadays, which is somewhat depressing. There is no true cure for any form of cancer, but there just might be if the human race would stop warring with itself and concentrate on destroying diseases instead.

Cancer is the only superpower that humans can possess.

My favorite:

The cure for cancer is simple. Just crack open the pit of an apricot, plumb, or any kind of fruit like that, and eat the seeds. Do this everyday to prevent cancer. If you already have cancer, you should eat around 8 apricot seeds everyday to cure it. People have been doing this for years to cure cancer. The reason a lot of people don't hear about this, is because if you did, you wouldn't have to buy medicine, and therefore, the drug companies would go bankrupt.


Needle Pokes: 9

Pills: 35

People to visit me and cheer me up since last round: Leah and Saweet Jess, and Chris and Dre Carrier. They brought wonderful gifts and goodies and allowed me to have social interaction! Thanks you four. Your visits mean a lot!

Chemo Eve: Round 4

Welp it is time for the fun time that comes around every two weeks! CHEMO!!! YEAH!!!!

I especially cannot wait for another round because of fun the past two weeks have been. Lack of appetite, constipation, diarrea, nausea, vomiting. I hope I has figured out a few things so this next round will go much smoother.

Since I started chemo for the third time I have started to realize how many things in my life resemble that of a old person. In this definition an older person is someone at least 70 years old. (sorry if this includes you and you do not define yourself as old.)

First off I take a lot of mid-day naps. about 2 or 3 p.m. I hear Mr. Sandman knocking on my door and since I was taught to not be a rude person I always let him in.

The second thing that resembles a old person is that I have on of these.



Although I throughly enjoy having this. It makes parking on campus and Wal-Mart much more enjoyable.

Third, As you may have read in my last post I drink prune juice to keep my bowels in order.

The last part that resembles a old person is that I live alone. I saw this commercial while watching Price is Right and was almost convinced to buy one.


Thanks again to everyone who reads this blog and for all the well wishes.

Storytime

I will use pictures to help me tell this story.

It started on Monday night, I did not sleep well due to:



This is not completely weird because it is one of the biggest side effects of the newest chemos that I have started taking. So are part of the protocol at that the first sign of diarrhea you take two of these.



Then one every two hours until you have not had a bowel movement for 12 hours. So after following this protocol. I felt like this for 6 days.



Because the Immodium AD had worked so well. I was backed up! (I tried to think of some joke here, but nothing came)

After 6 days of INTENSE side pain due to this build up. I bought some of this.


I took two small glasses full accompanied with a Ham and Cheese Hotpocket in hopes of some movement to help relieve my side pain.

After a night of sleep I have spent this memorial day reflecting and creating this.


Six days of eating coming out all at once makes you feel like a flying carpet!

Now things are better and hopefully I will have bowel movements like a normal person.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

They made a movie about me and my roommate Brandon!

Here is the trailer:


Here is a picture of my roommate Brandon (He is Seth Rogens twin)



I feel I should sue them for stealing my life story. It is obviously about me and Brandon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cancerous Answers to Cancerous Questions

Did you know that you were going to be told you had cancer this time? Like did you have any kind of feeling like it was back or did your body feel different? Or was it totally a surprise to you? - Liz

On night during this past January I was awaken by a very bad pain on the lower side of my left chest. It had been roughly five months since my last chemotherapy treatment in Aug. 2010. I was not too concerned with the pain at first because I was just started to be active again. I started running, playing sports, and being more active (compared to being a cancer patient where you get winded walking up a flight of stairs.)

I just assumed the pain was the fake half of my left diaphragm that was just being stretched out due to the increased physical activity. After about a month of dealing with the near constant pain I decided to go to talk to my Utah cancer doctor to get some pain meds to hold me over until I had my scans in March.

Since the pain had lasted so long I thought something might be up, but just blew it off hoping that my rationale of it being my diaphragm was correct.
What graduate program? –Danna

I will be starting the Mass Communications master program and Brigham Young University starting Aug. 29th 2011.

Where are you doing treatments now? –Kelsey

I am receiving chemo treatments at the Utah Valley Medical Hospital in Provo on the corner of Bulldog and 500 West. It is in the main lobby where the big revolving door is. It is called Utah Cancer Specialists. You are all invited to attend during any of my chemo treatments.

I will also be receiving radiation treatments down in San Diego in late June.
Kelsey also asked this great question: What's the one treat that still sounds good after a bout of chemo?

Although I do not eat a whole lot immediately following chemo, some treats that I do enjoy are white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, funfetti cake, Mothers Circus Animal Cookies, Blue Gatorade, and Beef Jerky (The jerky gets me the protein during my lack of eating full meals.) However, I am open to trying any homemade baked good (especially if it is from scratch.) I probably spent more time on this question than I should have.

The Last Question for this go-around:

How do you really feel about this? Is it scary? Is it just normal? Are you upset about it? More upset that its round 3 and you have already had to do it twice? Do you really just take everything as it comes and just like go with it? I suppose I am a girl and am interested in more emotions about this. Not that you haven't shared any just that my brain works like this

This is a very loaded question. How do I really feel about this? Well, I must admit that I was not excited about winning the cancer raffle for the third time; however I am not bitter, scared, or upset. I have done a lot of meditating during my second and third time of fighting this ugly cancer disease and I have come to the conclusion that I have been reluctant to share due to the lack of happy thoughts that it contains, but here it is.

Sorry for the change in font the computer is being funny(I did not change it for dramatic effect)

I HAVE REACHED THE CONCLUSION THAT I AM A LIFER. I HAVE ACCEPTED THAT I WILL PROBABLY NEVER BE CURED OF CANCER AND THAT I WILL BE FIGHTING THIS FIGHT FOR A VERY LONG TIME. I KNOW THIS MAY BE HARD FOR SOME OF YOU TO READ, BUT I HAVE COME TO TERMS WITH IT. I HAVE REACHED THE POINT WHERE I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT THE FIGHT TO THE VERY END AND ENJOY LIFE ALONG THE WAY.

I AM EXCITED TO LIVE A FULL LONG LIFE IT WILL JUST BE VERY DIFFERENT THAT THE NORMAL. I WILL HAVE TO BALANCE SCHOOL, WORK, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY ALONG WITH DOCTORS, TREATMENTS, DRUGS, AND SICK WEEKENDS.

NOW PLEASE DON’T BE SADDENED BY THIS ANSWER I AM JUST TRYING TO BE OPEN, HONEST, AND LET MY UNCENSORED THOUGHTS BE HEARD. MY HESITANCY TO WRITE THIS HAS BEEN FOR MY FAMILY, BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW HOW FAR THEY HAVE COME TO GRIPS WITH WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR ME.

I AM AT PEACE WITH IT AND WILL NEVER STOP LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST EVEN IF IT IS JUST WATCHING DEAR JOHN WITH AN APARTMENT FULL OF GIRLS, WORKING GRAVEYARD SHIFTS, OR LAYING IN BED ALL WEEKEND REBOUNDING FROM A ROUGH CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENT. I KNOW THERE IS A TOMORROW AND THAT IT WILL BE BETTER AND THAT I AM SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME.

MY FUTURE IS BRIGHT, I START GRADUATE SCHOOL IN THE FALL AND HOPE TO CONTINUE ON TO OBTAIN A PHD. AND BE A COLLEGE PROFESSOR SO THAT I CAN PASS ON SOMETHING WORTHWHILE TO THOSE WHO COME AFTER ME. PLEASE DO NOT FEEL SAD OR SORRY FOR ME, BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE THESE FEELINGS FOR MYSELF.

CANCER CANNOT STOP THAT! CANCER ALTHOUGH HAS BEEN THE MOST ANNOYING THING TO EVERY HAPPEN IN MY LIFE IT HAS ALSO BEEN THE GREATEST THING, BECAUSE AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 16 I WAS ABLE TO GAIN A PERSPECTIVE THAT TAKES MOST PEOPLE YEARS EVEN DECADES TO GAIN. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO LIVE IN FEAR, BITTERNESS, OR RESENTMENT. IT IS A WASTE OF TIME; EVERYONE HAS PROBLEMS THEY ARE DEALING WITH.

MY TWO MOTTOS THAT I HAVE DEVELOPED SINCE MY INITIAL DIAGNOSIS WHEN I WAS 16 YEARS OLD ARE:

1. SOMEONE ALWAYS HAS IT WORSE THAN YOU.

2. WHAT IS THE POINT OF EXTENDING LIFE IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIVE IT.

I AM EXCITED ABOUT MY CANCEROUS FUTURE (HOWEVER I WAS HOPING THE WHOLE RAPTURE THING WOULD HAVE WORKED OUT.)

THANKS FOR SUBMITTING YOUR QUESTIONS AND FEEL FREE TO CONTINUE TO SUBMIT THEM AND CONTINUE TO ASK ANY QUESTION YOU WANT. I AM VERY OPEN AND WILLING TO ANSWER ANYTHING. (HOPEFULLY THIS POST HAS SHOWN THAT.)

Thanks again for all the love and support. I love you all! Hopefully this is not to much information.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Chemo Drugs

This past Thursday I had another Chemo party, however, it had different cocktails than the previous ones. I now receive one intravenous chemo drug, and one oral drug.

Drug #1: Irinotecan

Trade name: Camptosar, Camptothecan-11, CPT-11

Category: Chemotherapy Drug

Classification: Irinotecan belongs to the general group pf drugs known as topoismerase inhibitors.

Action: Irinotecan disrupts the growth of cancer cells by preventing the development of elements necessary for cell division. The drug cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells, so some normal cells are affected, causing side effects.

How drug is given: Irinotecan is given intravenously over 90 minutes

Precautions: Tell you nurse if you start sweating, become nauseated, have abdominal cramping, or diarrhea. You nurse will give you special medication to stop this reaction.

Side Effects:
More Common Side Effects:
Severe diarrhea occurring the dy of treatment or up to 1 week after treatment
Nausea
Vomiting
Decreased white blood cell count with increased risk of infection
Sweating, abdominal cramping, or diarrhea during infusion
Fatigue

Less Common Side Effects: Flushing during infusion

Rare Side Effects:
Decreased platelet count with increased risk of bleeding
Decreased red blood cell count leading to anemia


I know this is A LOT of information and I do not understand at least half of it. But, This information is verbatim from the piece of paper that they gave me and I am trying to share all the information during my treatment.

Drug #2: Temodar

This is a oral drug that supposedly targets just the cancer cells. I take two pills every evening before I go to bed for five days after every other chemo treatment. The oral treatment is kind of a catch 22. The side effects are not as harsh as the intravenous chemo drugs, but since you take them for five days the feeling lingers and it takes longer to feeling better and get back to a normal eating schedule.

I am working on the blog post of answering all the fan mail questions. I have been a little slow because the oral medication has kept me in bed not feeling that great. I will try to improve my blogging updates.

I just want to thank everyone again for your support. It really brightens my spirits. (Sorry if some of my responses do not make sense, the drugs make me a little loopy.) I love getting the texts, emails, comments, and phone calls seeing how I am doing. Since I now live by myself it is even better to hear from everyone.

Needle Pokes: 8

Pills: 30

Diet since Thursday: Bread, Cream of Broccoli Soup, and Gatorade.

Hospefully my stomach will warm up to more solid food soon!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chemo Eve Once Again

It is time to have a chemo party once again. It has been approximately a month since I received a wonderful chemo cocktail.

I will be receiving new types of chemo so it will be interesting to see how sick I get after these new ones. Will I feel as sick as the others? I will have to wait and see. The anticipation is like Christmas Eve as a child. I don't think I will be able to sleep much tonight. (This lack of sleep may also be because I work until 4 a.m. in the morning)

Once I get all the skinny on the new chemos I will let you all know with a blog post.

However I have been receiving many emails and messages about posting a picture of my WONDERFUL boxer blanket!

Here it is! All of my old boxer shorts (minus the old smelly stained ones)




Also continue to email me questions you have. My next post will have questions and answers that have been submitted from my readers!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Malignant Update

I finally met with my Utah doctor after all the mumbo jumbo that took place during my visit home.

The consensus is that I will switch chemo treatments to a different regime. (Once I get all the details I will post them like I did the last ones.)

I will resume treatment again next Thursday, May 19th. Don't worry I will continue my superstitions.

I also got good news from my graduate program that I will be attending in the fall. I got an email today that stated I received a full-tuition scholarship. I have not been this excited since I went to surf camp with Kevin Costner's daughter Lily. (Should have been more on my game then.)

That is the update for now. Sorry there is not more. I will continue to keep posting. Let me know if anyone has questions. I love to answer them.

Needle Pokes: 7

Pills: 20

Time took to watch season one of 30 Rock: Less than 48 hours.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yeah! it is only Pneumonia!

So I went home to San Diego so that I could have a CT scan, get chemo, and meet with my main doctor.

Friday morning I went and had my CT and then went to the Oncology floor of the hospital. There I met with the wonderful Dr. Schiff and she informed me that there was a large new mass in my right lung that was approx. 4 inches. (This was not good new because it meant that I could not get Chemo and I had the best nurse assigned to me that day, we were going to have a party and do some chemo dancing.)

Anyways, I did not receive chemo because they do not give chemo when cancer patients have infection because they do not want to deplete the white blood cells that are fighting so valiantly against the bad stuff.

Instead of chemo I was signed up for minor surgery to have a CT guided biopsy so that they could determine if the new large mass was cancer or an infection.

So I partyed all weekend, ate at the Yellow Deli, had a surprise vist from Brandon Scott RIggs! So Monday came and I went in for surgery. You have to arrive two hours early so it is A LOT of waiting.

Now this is the same procedure that I had done on the left lung last time that determined that I had cancer for the second time.

After surgery I woke up and stuck to being the usual Dave Chalk when I am waking up from surgery, for some reason when I am waking up from surgery I am super sarcastic and quick witted and usually get into it with the nurse. (It is all in a loving way and the nurses dish it right back to me so it is a good time)

The nurse then went and got my parents (which she asked if I had a girl friend. My parents let out the reluctant sight of, No)

The X-Ray man then came a took an X-Ray of my lungs to make sure that it did not collapse or anything crazy from the surgery.

When I was finally discharged I was told to be on bedrest for 4 hours. So My father drove me home. We picked up my sister Emily and my Utah roommate Brandon Scott Riggs and we went to the Padre Game! (Perfect Environment for recovering from lung surgery!)


So Yesterday I received the wonderful news that the large mass is not cancer and that it is just an infection. Which is EXCELLENT! (Imagine me saying that like Bill and Ted followed by some air guitar.)

But they fear that it may be early stages of pneumonia! (Which is so must better than cancer and I have never had that one before. My parents told me growing up that you should be open to trying new things. So after spending a few days with pneumonia I will let you know if it is something you should look into getting.)

That is all from the Life of Dave Chalk the Cancer Patient.

Totals from round three's battle with Cancer

Needle Pokes: 6

Pills: 20

CT scans: 3

Surgeries: 1

new mini blizzards from Dairy Queen: 1

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Graduate

A week ago today I graduated from college receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Communication. I am celebrating my week mark with a little chemo party at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego! It should be a good time. I may even bring out the chemo dance as a part of the week celebration.

My whole family was able to attend and support me in the celebration.


I will now enjoy my first summer of no school since the High School years and start my Masters in Mass Communication in the Fall.

Thanks to Nicki and Mary

Easter was very kind to me this year. I also received this awesome Baseball Easter Basket from my Awesome friends Mary and Nicki. They are good friends of mine and we enjoy Karaokeing (I don't know if that is a word) together!

Thanks for the Baseball Easterness. You know me too well!


This summer will be full of fun times!

Thanks to Leah and Cassie

Two Fridays ago I had my second round of chemo. As usual I sleep pretty much the day away. As I awoke around 3 or so a.m. to relieve myself in the restroom I trip over a Easter basket walking from my bed to the bathroom. (Mind you this is still 9 days until Easter.) I was super confused by seeing a Easter basket but being too tired and high on drugs I went about my business and then returned to bed to continue sleeping.

When I awoke the following morning I can better see what I had tripped over. It was a WONDERFUL Get Better Pre-Easter Basket brought by these two amazing women!


Here are the contents of the basket: My favorite part was the Mr. Bubble and relaxing bubble bath both of which I have used to my advantage.


Also in the basket was this awesome puzzle card.


On the back it read: Cancer Sucks (as we all know)
But you never, ever let it show
We hope this finds you in your lowest low
And a chemo side-effect will make your hair re-grow!
Love,
Leah & Cassie

THANK YOU LEAH AND CASSIE! YOU ROCK!

Tap Class

This past semester I took a tap dance class. It was a great time and I enjoyed learning the steps. I am contemplating continuing tap the upcoming fall semester.

I was the only boy in the class so I kind of stood out. It was a fun semester and the whole class became a family and we enjoyed spending time together twice a week in class.

Once I was re-diagnosed I was no longer able to go to class and after a while my classmates asked my teacher why I was no longer coming. She spilled the beans (those were her words like I was trying to keep it a secret or something.)

For the final day of class we had a little party and I was able to attend. They presented me with this awesome card!

On the cover are pictures of a few legendary tap dancers. (Eleanor Powell, Fred Astaire, Shirley Temple, and Savion Glover to name a few)


Inside of the card:


Thank you to the whole tap class! Also thanks to Quintin my tap buddy and maker of the card! It is awesome!

Sorry

I apologize for the lack of blogging. I had a rough weekend following my last round of chemo. I had a cough that I could not get control of that would send me into cough attacks that would eventually lead to triggering my gag reflex leading to some throwing up.

I went to the doctor got some legit cough syrup and some antibiotic and I am coming back to the real world.

So that mixed with my family being in town for my graduation from college it has been hard to find time for blogging, but I will be back to blogging every few days to keep everyone up to date on the fight against cancer.

I will be having scans this upcoming Friday to figure out the future of treatment/surgery so there will be a update after that.

Thanks for the well wishes! The most asked question is to post pictures of my boxer blanket. Those will be coming soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Day After: Chemo Round 2

I had my second date with chemo yesterday. Our relationship must be improving because she seems to be enjoying her time with me. Here to hoping that she is nice to over the weekend.

As My friend Jessica Sullivan and her husband came to my treatment to keep me company. It was great to have company because it helps the time go by faster and is not as boring. So a special shout-out and thanks to them!

Also, I have been getting A LOT of question about the exact chemo I am currently receiving. So here is a detailed list about both of them.

So here it is:

Drug #1: Vinorelbine

Trade Name: Navelbine

Category: Chemotherapy Drug

Classifications: Vinorelbine belongs to a general group of drugs known as plant (vinca) alkaloids

Actions: Vinorelbine disrupts cell division, resulting in cell death. This drug cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells, so some normal cells are affected, causing side effects.

How Drug is Given: Vinorelbine is given intravenously over 5-10 minutes

Precautions: Tell nurse immediately if you have any stinging or burning in the vein during or after the drug is administered.

More Common Side Effects:
Decreased white blood cell count with increased risk of infection
Numbness and tingling in hands and/or feet
Darkening of vein used to give the drug
Constipation

Less Common Side Effects:
Nausea
Vomiting
Sores in mouth or on lips
Hair Loss
Decreased platelet count with increased risk of bleeding

Drug #2: Gemcitabine

Trade Name: Gemzar

Category: Chemotherapy Drug

Classification: Gemcitabine belongs to a general group of drugs known as antimetabolites

Action: Gemcitabine disrupts growth of cancer cells. The drug cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells, so some normal cells are affected, causing side effects.

How drug is given: Gemcitabine is given intravenously over an hour

More Common Side Effects:
Decreased white blood cell count with increased risk of infection
Decreased platelet count causing increased risk of bleeding
Decreased red blood cells with anemia
Fatigue

Less Common Side Effects:
Diarrhea
Sores in mouth and lips
Skin Rash
Hair thinning
Nausea
Vomiting

If you have anymore questions about any aspect of the treatment feel free to email me. I am very open and love to help others better understand the world of cancer. It can be a scary world, but there is hope!

Needle pokes: 3

Pills: 13

Happy Saturday! More post to coming in the next few days so if you want your questions answered now is the time to do it. You can either facebook them to me or submit them through email. There is a page on my blog entitled "Submit questions." Even if I don't know you and you have been blog stalking me your questions are still welcome!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thank You J-Port

A few days ago my good friend Jessica Sullivan came to visit me. We have known each other since our freshman year here at BYU. We both lived in the wonderful Deseret Towers (R.I.P.)

For some reason during that freshman year I gave her the nickname J-Port. Her maiden name is Porter so that is where the nickname came from.

Since then she has graduated and become a second grade teacher.

She had the awesome idea to make me a book to help me get better. It is entitled, "To Help Me Feel Better" by: Mrs. Sullivan's Class. Each student wrote me some advice to get better and drew me a picture.

When she stopped by to drop of the book it came with a basket for of goodies! The basket consisted of candy, an itunes gift card, and a cute stuffed animal. These three things were the consensus of what would make me feel better.



I took a picture of a couple of my favorites:

This one was written and illustrated by Denim. It says: "When I feel sick I like to sing a lot and A LOT. That's what I do to help me feel better. I hope it makes you feel better too."


I included this one because I enjoyed the story that accompanied it. Jessica told me that when he was writing and drawing he was singing "Shot through the heart" by Bon Jovi. This kid sounds pretty legit.

This second picture was done by Jack. It says: "When I feel sick I take a bath then take a nap. That's what helps me feel better."
I included this one because I really like the detail of his drawings. The pink part on the left side of picture is the sink with a toothbrush on in as he is sitting in the bath tub. I also liked how the bath tub was gray and the bed is blue. Gotta love kids!



Thanks J-Port! It was a great surprise that brightened my day! I love all the drawings and wonderful tips on how to get better.

Chemo: The Day After Round 2

I had my second date with chemo yesterday. Our relationship must be improving because she seems to be enjoying her time with me. Here to hoping that she is nice to over the weekend.

As My friend Jessica Sullivan and her husband came to my treatment to keep me company. It was great to have company because it helps the time go by faster and is not as boring. So a special shout-out and thanks to them!

Also, I have been getting A LOT of question about the exact chemo I am currently receiving. So here is a detailed list about both of them.

So here it is:

Drug #1: Vinorelbine

Trade Name: Navelbine

Category: Chemotherapy Drug

Classifications: Vinorelbine belongs to a general group of drugs known as plant (vinca) alkaloids

Actions: Vinorelbine disrupts cell division, resulting in cell death. This drug cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells, so some normal cells are affected, causing side effects.

How Drug is Given: Vinorelbine is given intravenously over 5-10 minutes

Precautions: Tell nurse immediately if you have any stinging or burning in the vein during or after the drug is administered.

More Common Side Effects:
Decreased white blood cell count with increased risk of infection
Numbness and tingling in hands and/or feet
Darkening of vein used to give the drug
Constipation

Less Common Side Effects:
Nausea
Vomiting
Sores in mouth or on lips
Hair Loss
Decreased platelet count with increased risk of bleeding

Drug #2: Gemcitabine

Trade Name: Gemzar

Category: Chemotherapy Drug

Classification: Gemcitabine belongs to a general group of drugs known as antimetabolites

Action: Gemcitabine disrupts growth of cancer cells. The drug cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells, so some normal cells are affected, causing side effects.

How drug is given: Gemcitabine is given intravenously over an hour

More Common Side Effects:
Decreased white blood cell count with increased risk of infection
Decreased platelet count causing increased risk of bleeding
Decreased red blood cells with anemia
Fatigue

Less Common Side Effects:
Diarrhea
Sores in mouth and lips
Skin Rash
Hair thinning
Nausea
Vomiting

If you have anymore questions about any aspect of the treatment feel free to email me. I am very open and love to help others better understand the world of cancer. It can be a scary world, but there is hope!

Needle pokes: 3

Pills: 13

Happy Saturday! More post to coming in the next few days so if you want your questions answered now is the time to do it. You can either facebook them to me or submit them through email. There is a page on my blog entitled "Submit questions." Even if I don't know you and you have been blog stalking me your questions are still welcome!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Grandma" came to visit

This past week my "grandma" was in town and wanted to say hello. She is not my grandma by blood, but she is the grandma of a good friend I had while growing up. So I consider her my grandma.

Here are a few pictures of our time together.

This picture was taken just minutes before my first round of chemo


This picture is us at dinner at La Jolla Grove. It is an amazing restaurant in Provo. Their beef tenderloin medallions are in my top 5 meals I have ever had. Yes! That good.


Thanks again Grandma!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Brings People Together

During this current semester I have been enrolled in "Cooking Class" here at BYU. I decided to take this class for two reasons (1) I consider myself a foodie (which means I LOVE everything about food) (2) I needed extra classes to fill my schedule because a student must earn at least 120 credits at BYU to graduate regardless of how long or short their major is. I will be graduating (in two weeks from today) with exactly 120 credits. (I am proud of this because it means that I did waste any time during college. I came, I took classes, and I conquered.)

Throughout the duration of the semester this class has become one of my favorite classes that I have ever taked during my time as a BYU Cougar.

I mean who would not like to have a three hour lab every Thursday morning that ends with the class eating together and talking about food! (I never had to eat breakfast on Thursdays because I knew that I would be getting a pretty good meal for lunch!)

The greater reason I loved this class is because of the professor. Her name is Mrs. Dana Adcock and she has become one of my favorite professors at BYU. During the first week of lab she went around and talked to everyone individually to get to know them. During my "interview" I told her about me being a foodie and that my travels are centered around restaurants and food rather than the landmarks and city. we hit it off from there talking about good restaurants each week.

Yesterday was the final lab day. It was the lab that the whole semester builds up to where your group creates their own menu and meal. (My health has not allow for me to attend classes as much as I would like to.)

However, Professor Adcock and my two cooking partner came and visited me at home and delivered my a plate of food. It was a fabulous! I enjoyed the food, but appreciated the visit more. (When you are going through chemo treatments you never feel that great. This prevent you from leaving your home often because you are weak, tired, or in pain, and therefore, you do not have much human interaction)

After handing me the plate of food my professor handed me a yellow gift sack. (This was greatly unexpected.) I opened it and to my surprise it contained a HOMEMADE apron that THE WONDERFUL Dana Adcock had made herself. I was super surprise and touched by the sincere care and thought that went into it. I almost had a tear come to my eye. (But my manly side fought it back) It is an amazing apron!

Here are some picture of the Apron!

Me modeling the apron


Here is a close up. After she made the apron she had my entire lab section write well wishes on it for me.




This is one of the coolest things I have ever received. However, I am too scared to use it in fear of ruining it.

I just want to publicly thanks the students in my lab section, my cooking partners (Kendall and Megan), and the WONDERFUL SIS. DANA ADCOCK!

You are wonderful and I am glad I got to spend this semester with you. I will never forget it. I hope that our friendship will not end when finals do.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Once a Wish Kid Always a Wish Kid

During this past semester I have had the opportunity to be an Intern at the Make-A-Wish Foundation here in Utah.

My desire to intern at Make-A-Wish is to pay it forward. My cancer journey began when I was 16 years old, I had just started my junior year of high school when I went in to have surgery on my right thigh to remove what doctors believe was a clump of blood vessels. It turned out that it was actually a cancerous tumor instead.

During my first bout with cancer I was able to be a wish kid and have my wish come true (which was to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef). This experience allowed for me to feel like a normal kid for a while. It was a needed escape from my unfortunate reality.

It was this escape that I wanted to pay forward to other kids who are in similar situations that I was in. Every kid deserves the opportunity to be a kid and not have to face the daily grind of being a cancer patient, or dealing with other life threatening diseases.

Little did I know that this internship would provide a way for the people at the Make-A-Wish Foundation to once again brighten my situation during my fight against cancer. Today I went to visit those at the main offices because they said they had a little gift for me.

This is what was waiting for me when I arrived:


Just wanted to publicly thank everyone at Make-A-Wish of Utah for the get well card and huge basket of wonderful goodies! They really did spoil me!

Thank you Make-A-Wish you once again brought a smile to the face of a Wish Kid.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chemo The Day After

Yesterday was round one of the Heavy weight title fight Chalk v. Cancer

I went to the doctors for my 10:30 chemo appointment. I walked into the community treatment room and I immediately dropped the average age which was currently in the 60's.

I took a seat at my chair and set up shop. I pulled out my three different pill containers. Two of them are anti-nausea medication called Zofran and Ativan, because chemotherapy play tricks on your stomach and digestive track. I imagine it to feel like the symptoms of a combination of swine flu and SARS (although I have never had either of these diseases so this is pure speculation). The other jar of pills is a pain medication because one of the tumors is in the lower part of my left lung which causes quite a bit of pain and it is hard to find a comfortable position to sit, lay, or stand.

So after I get my pharmacy set up I took out my blanket and sat down in the chair to get "comfortable." I spread out my blanket to cover me and the lady in the corner says (borderline yells) THAT IS A CUTE BLANKET. Now up to this point in time she had had earphones in which was hooked up to her new ipad (which I was quite jealous of). But anyways, I informed her that it was handmade by my mother and what she used my old boxer shorts for the material.

From then on she felt it was her duty to inform everyone else in the room about my mother-made blanket. For the first time I was the popular kid on the block with the coolest new toy.

I was then poked in the right arm and was administered the chemo. I kept true to my new superstition and listen to Dynamite by Taio Cruz three times (one for each time I have had cancer). From then I was either sleeping or chit chatting with the other patients which seemed to be a club meeting for either the AARP or Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. It was good to have the company to make the time pass.

After four hours of receiving treatment I was heading home to rest for the day. Since then I have basically been in bed relaxing, sleeping and watching baseball to pass the time. The fact that I can watch baseball as I am lazy and relaxing is only another reason that I know cancer knows I like baseball, because had this been just last week I would have had to wait for a week before the new baseball season started.

Well that it is it for now. I will now change the channel from baseball to general conference, although I do not know how effective it will be since I will be watching it while I am in bed.

Needle pokes: 2

Pills: 2

Thanks to everyone for the phone calls, prayers, texts, emails, and positive thoughts. I appreciate all of them. It is good to know that their are people out there who care about me and are pulling for me to get through this fight!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cancer must know I like Baseball

For the third time in my life I am a cancer patient. I will start my third go-around of chemotherapy tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the IHC hospital in Provo, Utah.

This time is more exciting because it came just as the school semester is winding down and I will need to balance the higher-than-life side effect feelings of chemo with finishing term papers, test, and presentations.

I do not believe in superstitions, but since baseball players are very superstitious and today being opening day for the 2011 baseball season I will be starting a few of my own during the third round of this heavy weight title fight.

1. The blanket I will be taking will be the blanket my mother made for me out of all the my old boxer shorts that I wore during my time in middle school and high school. It is not as gross as it sounds as a matter of fact it is totally awesome.

2. I will shave my head and face every night before treatment followed by a shower with the lights off with only a Jesus Candle burning. This is one of those candles that is often used by hispanic catholics.

3. The first song I listen to when I start each chemo treatment will be the song Dynamite by Taio Cruz. This will be a superstition because when my mother and I got into the car after finding out about the cancer returning to my lungs this song came on the radio. And sometimes you need to throw your hands up in the air sometimes and gotta let go. I wanna celebrate and live my life. Saying AYO, Baby Let's go.

That is about as superstitious as I am going to get.

I will also resume keeping a running total of the amount of times I am poked with a needle and how many pills I take during my treatment.

I will also try to be better at blogging about my experiences and also try not to censor my true thoughts and feelings. I will give the real view of fighting cancer for the third time.

Back to the title of this post, cancer must know I like baseball because it knows that there is three strikes before a strikeout.

I am going to rock this hospital gonna go all night gonna rock this cancer like I'm Dynamite!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

No Longer Cancer Free

Had scans yesterday and it revealed cancer in my lungs again.

Hopefully I will be able to start chemo again this upcoming week!

It was good while it lasted, but alas back to cancer jokes and once again being the sick kid.

After finding out the news my family and I went out to Tony Romas to celebrate my un -special day with a rack of ribs.

So I can't complain too bad.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Do you know what that word means?

Two weeks ago my car was side-swiped. It happened as I slept on a Wednesday night about two weeks ago.

So I called my insurance to file and claim and they said the car will be repaired without going against my record. That is neat! They also said they would provide my with a comparable rental car, but if I wanted something different I would have to pay for the difference.

So as the paperwork finally cleared and I dropped the car off at the shop this past Wednesday I was gearing myself up to the fact that I would probably be driving a Ford Taurus until my car is fixed sometime next week.

This is MY car.



This is the COMPARABLE rental car



Comparable?

Just to make sure I am not the dumb one I looked up the word in the dictionary and here are some synonyms: likeness, similar, copy.

Seems like they hit it right on the head

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich


This little sandwich shack is located at 232 E. 800 S. in Salt Lake City.

So every since I went to Philadelphia I have been craving a good Philly cheese steak sandwich.

So this place was on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives so I figured to give it a try.

This is what I ordered:


A good old fashion cheesesteak and it was better than 2 out of the 3 cheesesteaks I had in Philly!

So I high recommend Moochies.

Rating: 5 Bald Heads